Thursday, March 16, 2023

A Short Break

    Hello, everyone!  Colton's vacation has officially started, so I am taking a short break.  We are knee deep in projects at the moment, and I haven't had a chance to write up a Thrifty Thursday post!  I want to be sure I give you a well-thought-out post, not something hurriedly thrown together, so I will be back as soon as I'm able to do that.  Thanks for understanding!

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Our First Project of 2023: Part 1

     As you may have guessed from my posting on Thursday, the boys and I are feeling much better.  Thank you so much for your prayers!  It is so nice to be able to get back to the things we enjoy.  The weather has been beautiful, especially in the mornings and evenings, so we are turning our thoughts towards outdoor projects.  Colton has some vacation time this month from both of his jobs, so we are going to try and make the most of it!  Working on projects together is fun for us, so it's a win/win.  I'm sure we'll have some downtime, too, though.  Maybe.

    For our first project, we are tackling this little spot:

    This is in the garden to the side of my garden shed.  Behind it through the screen door, is the chicken run.  (The metal building is the coop.)  Initially, the chicken run fence started at the front of the shed, but since our chickens free range anyway and we wanted more garden space, we moved the fence to the back end of the shed last year.

    It created this little nook, which has actually turned out to be more awkward than anything.  I thought about planting herbs and flowers around the perimeter and adding a picnic table or seating area in the middle, but it never happened.  About all that has ever grown here is stinging nettle.  In reality, I am not very good at a cottage-style garden layout, as much as I absolutely love the way it looks.  My mind operates better with orderly rows.  And living where we do, I always have snakes on my mind when the weather heats up.  Lots of bushy plants on the ground are perfect hiding spots.  

    So what to do?  Can you guess?

Maybe another photo will help...

    Colton is building me raised beds!  I'm really excited about this project.  As crazy as the last year (two, really) has been, I haven't been able to have a garden like I normally do.  I've missed it so much.  I think this will be much easier for me to manage for the time being. Eventually, I might give the boys their own little section of the beds to grow things in.  In any case, I think this is a good use of the space.

    So far, we (when I say we, I actually mean Colton) have leveled the area, put down black plastic, and built the frames for the beds.  We already had the dirt for leveling from another project we did last year.  We also already had the black plastic.  Someone at work gave Colton a huge roll, and we just set it aside for "just in case".  We always seem to have projects, so we gladly accept free materials when offered!  We did buy the lumber, but the price is surprisingly coming down, which is nice.  

    Stay tuned for progress reports!

Thursday, March 09, 2023

Thrifty Thursday #6 ~ How Much Time Will it Cost?

    When you look at the price of an item, do you ever consider how much time or work it would take to earn the amount needed to pay for it?  If you think about it, many of us did this as kids when we wanted to save up for something.  We would figure out how many yards we would need to mow, or how many cars we would need to wash, in order to earn enough money to buy the thing we desired.  The same principle can apply here, just in adult form!  This is just one of the many tactics we can use to help us decide if an item is worth purchasing.  Today's tip is:

Look at an item's price in terms of the time it would take to earn that amount.

    A basic formula is: Cost of item ÷ hourly wage = hours needed to buy item

    (For those who are paid salary, you will first need to calculate your hourly wage. The formula is:  salary during each pay period ÷ hours each pay period = hourly wage.  You'll only need to do this once if you write it down.  Then plug that number into the formula above.)

    For example, if your income is $10 per hour, and you want to buy something that is $30, you can see that it would take you three hours to "earn" that item.  If you make $20 per hour, it would take you one and a half hours.  Those shiny baubles on the store shelves just might lose their luster when you look at them this way!  You might be pushing around a day's wages in that shopping cart!  For big ticket items, you might see that it would take several days, weeks, or even months to earn what it would take to pay for something.  Is it worth it?  

    (Just to be clear, I am talking about buying something with money that has already been earned, NOT buying something with the plan to pay it off later because you can "just work x amount of hours".  That mentality will land you deep in debt!  I'm also not suggesting that something is never "worth it".  Not all money is meant to be saved- some of it is meant to be enjoyed.  We should enjoy the fruits of our labor, not just toil to build our bank accounts and nothing else.  But just like money, time is limited, and so we must steward it well.  What is "worth it" is going to look different for everyone.)

   For those of us who are homemakers and don't earn an income, we have to consider our husbands.  They toil at work all day for their wage, so we must be very careful with how we steward it.  This realization alone personally makes me spend less! 

    What about you?  Do you think you might use this tactic when considering future purchases?  Will you ask yourself, "Is this item worth my time?" next time you go shopping?

Wednesday, March 01, 2023


   Hello, everyone.  I do apologize, but I need to postpone tomorrow's Thrifty Thursday post.  The boys and I have been sick all week.  I will be back as soon as we are well again (and my head no longer feels like a balloon.)  Until then, happy saving!